Ludlow Skinner

Birth Name:
John Ludlow Skinner
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Raleigh, North Carolina
Death Date:
February 21, 1903
Place of Death:
300 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, North Carolina
Cause of Death:
Murdered - gunshot wounds
Cemetery Name:
Oakwood Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
Ludlow Skinner was a quiet, soft-spoken young man who was the son of one of the most respected ministers in the southern region. The murder of Ludlow Skinner begins with Mrs. Gertrude Tucker, Skinner's sister-in-law and one of the most beautiful women in all of North Carolina at the time. Seems while doing work for Mrs. Tucker, her attorney Ernest Haywood had a thing for the beautiful widow and they began a secret affair (which in 1903, was a very big deal). And while there was ample evidence to their marriage, Haywood refused to acknowledge the legality of their marriage or the bastard son born out of wedlock. On February 21, 1903, Saturday afternoon, the young lawyer Haywood met Ludlow Skinner, his mistress's brother-in-law, on the steps of the Fayetteville Street Post Office. After a brief argument Haywood pulled out a pistol and shot at Skinner one time and missed. He then chased Skinner briefly and shot him dead in the street with 100 witness. The murder and subsequent trial achieved nationwide attention and rocked the foundations of turn-of-the-century Raleigh society. As a lawyer and founding member of the Raleigh Bar Association, he was found innocent by a jury of his peers after only 15 minutes of deliberation.

There’s More To This Story …

Ludlow Skinner’s death certificate indicated that Haywood’s single bullet penetrated Ludlow’s aorta and both lungs. He had buried his mother earlier the same morning he was murdered by Ernest Haywood.

Ernest Eagle Haywood was the son of Gertrude Tucker and Ernest Haywood. After he left Raleigh to pursue his dreams of becoming a writer in New York City, he committed suicide at the age of 21.

Ten defense attorneys were employed by the financially and politically well-connected Ernest Haywood for the two week trial which finally convened eight months later. This blue-ribbon legal team was able to exclude the racy Charlotte Observer allegations and to highlight the fact that Skinner had a gun in his possession (it was found in his pocket and was never displayed during the encounter). They also provided witnesses that portrayed Ludlow as the provocateur of the violence and constructed a scenario in which Haywood fired his gun only after it became clear Ludlow was reaching for his. Haywood was, they contended, acting only in self-defense. Their defense was effective; the jury took only fifteen minutes to return a “Not Guilty” verdict.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Oakwood Cemetery

701 Oakwood Avenue

Raleigh, North Carolina, 27601


North America


Map of Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh North Carolina
Map of Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh North Carolina

Grave Location:

Section POLK, Lot 29, Grave 9

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery keep to the right and park at the intersection of Beech Avenue and Elm Avenue. The Skinner monument is in the very corner of the Polk Section and just a stones throw from Ludlow Skinner’s murderer, Ernest Haywood.

Grave Location GPS

35.78627715337322, -78.62614912661248



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